This Week in Sustainability: Making Solar Energy More Efficient and Smart Grid Modernization

| Josh Henretig

solar2This week, GigaOM published an article featuring PROSOL Invest Deutschland, a German startup company that has developed a system to manage solar electricity generation use and control home appliances. The company’s invention, a lithium-ion battery system that comes with wireless communication, was featured at Intersolar, a solar trade show in San Francisco. Designed to pair with solar panels, the battery system is a cabinet containing lithium-ion iron phosphate batteries. A communication control panel effectively talks to a home’s appliances to understand energy consumption and solar energy production and home energy consumption on a touchscreen dashboard. The cost of such a system is still fairly high, but the German government has started a program that offers rebates to offset 30 percent of the price of the system and low-interest loans for installation and storage, making it much easier for people to make use of the latest IT innovation to use solar energy as efficiently as possible.

Elsewhere, SmartPlanet discussed The Grid Modernization Index, a system created by GridWise Alliance and Smart Grid Policy Center and evaluates different states’ progress in grid modernization in regard to policy, customer engagement and grid operations. The two states with the highest ranking are California and Texas, which reached positive results through different approaches. California regulates its energy market and strives for high renewable portfolio standards. Texas has relied on its deregulatory energy market to inspire the modernization of the grid. Other states that fared well in the ranking include Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Arizona.

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